Zermatt : information
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Zermatt’s super-friendly, helpful tourist office is right beside the station (mid-June to mid-Oct & mid-Dec to mid-April Mon–Fri 8.30am–6pm, Sat 8.30am–7pm, Sun 9.30am–noon & 4–7pm; rest of year Mon–Fri 8.30am–noon & 1.30–6pm, Sat 8.30am–noon; 027/967 01 81, www.zermatt.ch), and has everything you could possibly want to know about Zermatt, the Matterhorn, and hiking and skiing possibilities all around. A channel of cable TV within the village shows live pictures from three local summits – the Rothorn, Gornergrat and Trockener Steg – handy for viewing weather conditions. The travel agency Zermatt Tours (027/966 47 61) next to the tourist office can book any kind of excursion in the area. An individual who markets himself as“Jacques, your guide” (079/285 66 38, www.rhone.ch/zermatt-mule-trekking) runs short and long mule treks into the wilds; half-day excursions are Fr.35/hr per person and day-long rides, including a hearty picnic, are Fr.160 per person.

The Bergführerverein (Mountain Guides’ Association; July–Sept & Dec–March Mon–Fri 8.30am–noon & 4–7pm, Sat 4–7pm, Sun 10am–noon & 4–7pm; 027/966 24 60), on the main street in the same building as the ski school, can offer advice on climbing some of the peaks nearby. The Matterhorn itself is out, unless you have plenty of experience, all the professional apparatus, a week for training, and about Fr.900 in fees. However, they do run daily guided excursions suitable for beginners, including a four-hour trek from Klein Matterhorn across glaciers to Trockener Steg (Fr.120), an ascent to a 4000m peak such as Weissmies or Allalin (Fr.200), or a basic climbing course on the Riffelhorn (Fr.180), as well as some quality canyoning (Fr.95).

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